HC Deb 03 February 2004 vol 417 c872W
Mrs. Iris Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what he estimates the cost was of prescription fraud in Northern Ireland in 2003; and if he will make a statement. [152414]

Angela Smith

It is estimated that the cost of prescription fraud in 2002–03 was £8.3 million. Estimates for 2003–04 will be available by the end of May 2004.

Tackling fraud remains a key priority for the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, which has introduced a range of measures to combat exemption fraud. These include setting up a dedicated Counter Fraud Unit, the introduction of fixed penalty charges for patients who misclaim and the creation of the specific criminal offence of evading health services charges.

Forward to